Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Happy Hollow

Author: Erik Casarez
07/14/2006 | | | Album Review
Up until the reformation of the Pixies, Cursive was the closest thing to the foursome I have ever heard. With their new album they take a dose of Pixies charm, add a tablespoon of Talking Heads swagger, and top it off with a dash of Rocket from the Crypt. Weird ass combination, but the delivery is damn good.
The first thing blaring from my stereo upon inserting Happy Hollow is an array of horns blasting me away to a time when a saxophone and trumpet duel was just as relevant if not powerful as a guitar riff duel. The added horns on this album are synonymous with the sound of Rocket from The Crypt. Well duh, they had horns too. Even more is the way the horns are utilized, they don't steal the show but rather add emphasis to the chord strains and damn is it good and that's just the intro. The dark, more familiar Cursive sound returns momentarily in second track "Dorothy at Forty" only to be overwhelmed by Dixieland riffs and speeding vocals and then transition into a stop and go chorus which slows down only to speed up the tempo again. This album is an eclectic music lover's wet dream, not only do Cursive combine elements of several genres into a tight knit package, but they do it well and maintain eccentricity while not going over the top and still staying true to their sound.
Cursive pulls off what many bands try to do and often fail miserably. When most bands exclaim they are moving in a new direction and flirting with other genres it is often a recipe for disaster but Cursive pulls it off. There are hints of new wave sounds via keyboard and sweeping guitars and then sublime interludes of uptempo melodies that hit like the big bands of the thirties. This album is definitely worth a few listens, so many different influences can be heard and yet there's still the distinct idiosyncratic Cursive sound.
Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow

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